Welcome to the Virtual Online Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Welcome! We’re glad you are here to help us celebrate all things sheep and wool, apart yet together. For that true, hanging-out-with-all-of-your best-fiber-buds experience (including friends you haven’t even met yet), head over to our Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Online Community Facebook group or visit the 2020 Virtual Online Festival thread on Ravelry. Unlike the in-person Festival, this one won’t have to close down at night and will go on all weekend long!


Virtual Vendor Marketplace

If you’re ready for some shopping, stroll through our Virtual Vendor Marketplace. No crowds and no lines this year! Note the buttons at the top where you can filter your selections by category (including “New Vendors” and “Maryland Vendors”), letter of the alphabet, or both at once. Be sure to use the “See All/Clear Selection” button if you are switching back and forth between the two, or you might just find yourself looking at only Woodcrafts vendors who start with a “W”! If you remember your favorite vendors by where they are located, or want to follow your usual route, you can take a peek back at the “By Location” section of last year’s Vendor Locator Guide.

The Festival makes up a large percentage of the yearly income for many of our vendors, so please shop generously — you will find many of them are offering special deals and discounts for the weekend. We have included links to their social media accounts as well, so “like” them to show them your love year round. We will also leave the marketplace up until the end of the year, so you can come back whenever you want; just remember the discount codes are good for a limited time only.

We have curated a YouTube playlist of virtual booth tour videos made by some of our vendors that you might want to check out. Many vendors will also be livestreaming over the weekend; some of them are listed on this schedule, but I’m sure there will be many more. Some of our vendors will also be hanging out in the #MissingMaryland Facebook group.


Virtual Fleece Sale

It won’t quite be the same without the smell of freshly shorn wool and the feel of lanolin on your fingers, but our Virtual Fleece Sale has over seventy producers who have all kinds of fleeces for sale, and they will be very appreciative of your business in these difficult times. There is a link for each producer to the place online that you can view their fleeces, as well as instructions for how to make a purchase. The list can be filtered by color, fleece type (fine, medium, longwool, etc.) and breed, and some producers are offering special deals and discounts, too.


Online Swag Store

We are now taking advance orders for 2020 Festival Gear at sheepman.com/product-category/maryland-sheep-wool-festival-online/. How this will work — we will accept orders for one week. At the end of that time, we will turn the final counts over to our printing company. Working from home, they will begin the process of ordering the blank items so that the presses are ready to roll when non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen. Because we do not know when that will be, and what kind of delays may be encountered in getting the blanks, we are unable to estimate at this time when you will receive your merchandise. While we may order a few extra of each item to sell online afterwards, your best bet is to place your order during the May 2 – May 10 window.


Zoom with Us!

We have two zoom events planned:

  • Junior Spinning Contest – Saturday at 2:30 pm. Anyone under the age of 18 who has attempted the art of spinning and has access to a drop spindle, spinning wheel, or e-spinner and has a supply of fiber on hand is welcome to compete, and everyone is invited to join in and cheer them on. Use this link to  join the Zoom meeting or go to join.zoom.us and enter 891 4020 6760 as the meeting ID. You will be prompted to download and install Zoom if you haven’t already done so. A few things that will be “different” – contestants will need to measure their finished spinning, and be able to hold the yarn close enough to the camera for our judges to clearly see.
  • Saturday Night Spin-In – Saturday from 6:00-9:00. We should be able to accommodate 100 spinners. Here is the link to join the Zoom meeting, or go to join.zoom.us and enter 834 9049 1576 as the meeting ID.

Virtual Family Activities

Check out our Family Fun at Home page for activities the whole family can enjoy. We also have videos of the following classes that would have happened in our Family Activities Tent, suitable for all ages (including adults!):


Virtual Sheepdog Demos

Are the sheepdog demos your favorite part of the Festival? Nancy Starkey, our commentator for the Sheepdog Demonstrations, has put together this slideshow with a collection of scenes from previous sheepdog demonstrations.


Virtual Breed Display Barn

While you can’t stroll through the Breed Display Barn or watch the Parade of Breeds this year, you can still explore all the different breeds of sheep in The American Sheep Industry Association’s Breed Directory.


Support Our Instructors

We had a really great line-up of Fiber Arts Seminars booked for this year, and many of the classes had already sold out before we were forced to cancel the Festival. We invite you to read all about these talented people here. You will find links to their websites and online stores, information on where to buy their books, plus links to online tutorials and classes that they offer. Please support them in any way you can.


#showusyourentries

We know that people work very hard throughout the year on entries for our various competitions, so just for fun we started a campaign on Instagram to let people show off their entries using the hashtag #showusyourentries. We even have at least one entry in the new #creativeshearing contest!

Click on the hashtags above to see what has been entered. If you are interested in showing off your own entry, the instructions are in this post. No official judges or prizes, just a chance for you to share your work (and for people to vote for their favorites).


How you can help support the Festival

  • Buy merchandise in our Online Swag Store
  • Order a catalog – Orders will be accepted through Sunday night at mswf2020.eventbrite.com; after that you can download a form from our website and mail it with a check. We still have a lot of catalogs that would normally be given away at the Festival sitting on pallets at the fairgrounds, and we’d love to send you one (or more) instead of sending them to recycling
  • Make a donation – Donations can also be made through Sunday night at mswf2020.eventbrite.com; after that, you can also use the catalog order form to send a donation by mail. You can also donate via PayPal at https://paypal.me/MdSheepandWool. Please include “Donate” in the “Add a note” field.

Now sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy the virtual festival!

2020 Catalog Cover Artist

Presenting our 2020 catalog cover, featuring an original woodcut done just for us by Bobby Rosenstock of JustAJar Design Press.

Schedule of Events

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One thing we didn't have time to incorporate into our virtual festival was lamb cooking demonstrations. If you were looking forward to them, you might want to check this out instead. ... See MoreSee Less

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